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Delaware health officials have turned to residents who may be concerned about coronavirus and what its impact will be.

Diary of Delaware

Note: this story has been updated to clarify where coronavirus has been confirmed.

Here is the latest news on the coronavirus and its impact on Delaware and the region, for the week of March 9.

We are special

By 9 am on Tuesday morning, Delaware and Maine were the only two states on the east coast to not have a confirmed case of coronavirus.

All of our neighbors – Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania – have confirmed coronavirus cases and on Tuesday New Jersey declared a state of emergency to try to prevent the spread of the virus.

Philadelphia announced its first coronavirus case on Tuesday afternoon.

With so many tests here, we are changing our relationships

Delaware Online / The News Journal will only write about confirmed COVID-19 cases and will no longer write individual stories about residents under test. The goal is to provide the necessary information to readers without creating panic.

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus: Delaware is marshaling resources to be ready for a potential outbreak

The state is conducting its coronavirus tests

The state began testing its coronavirus in its Izmir-based laboratory.

But it is unclear how many tests are performed per day or how many calls the call center received last week. When the News Journal phoned Monday and asked for information, we were told that no one was available to speak on this subject until Wednesday.

TO READ: Delaware starts testing for the coronavirus itself; the call center for the public will soon open

UD students have been quarantined

The 22 students from the University of Delaware who returned from Rome after the university canceled its spring overseas study program in Rome due to coronavirus concerns were instructed to isolate themselves as a precaution.

TO READ: UD students who have studied in Italy are quarantined for coronavirus problems

Delaware’s largest insurer will pay for coronavirus tests

Highmark announced last week that it will cover tests for the new coronavirus.

The tests will be covered for members of Highmark’s insured group clients and those with Medicare Advantage and Affordable Care Act plans. The test should be recommended by a physician, according to a company statement.

Sponsors of the self-insured health plan will be able to give up on this, officials said.

MORE: Delaware’s largest insurer will cover the coronavirus test

MORE: While fears of coronavirus are circulating in music festivals, Firefly fans wonder what awaits us

Health officials ask older people to avoid crowds

Federal and state health officials urge seniors to “avoid crowds as much as possible” to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.

For family members and health workers, state health officials urged Monday to monitor food and medical supplies; know which drugs the elderly are taking, see if it is possible to order others and stock up on non-perishable foods.

TO READ: At religious services, you can greet Star Trek instead of a handshake to help prevent coronavirus

As for the elderly living in a facility, the state recommended family members to inquire about the health of other residents and about the facility’s protocols in the event of an outbreak.

Delaware is experiencing one of the worst flu seasons of the years

Although coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, the state is experiencing one of the worst flu seasons in recent years.

The current flu season is already the third worst in 15 years, according to state data. By February 29, the state had confirmed 6,000 flu cases and 11 people had died.

TO READ: As people go crazy for coronavirus, Delaware is experiencing one of the worst flu seasons of the years

The state opens a call center to answer questions from residents

For those who have questions about the virus, call (866) 408-1899 or send an email to DPHCall@delaware.gov.

MORE: Delaware will soon open the call center for the public

Contact Meredith Newman at (302) 324-2386 or at mnewman@delawareonline.com. Follow her on Twitter at @merenewman.

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